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Council meeting highlights

25 Oct 2012

Council meeting highlights

Here's the agenda and reports - Council meeting 25 October 2012(external link)

Citrus Grove II plan change request

Citrus Grove Investments Limited has asked Council to make some changes to its Combined Regional Land and District Plan (the District Plan). The company originally applied to rezone 45 hectares of land at Makaraka (west of the Gisborne Airport) in 2011 for a new residential and industrial area. The proposed plan change was declined in January. They are now proposing a scaled down development that involves rezoning about 15 hectares of Rural Production land to 6 hectares of land to a new Aviation Commercial zone and 8.7 hectares of land to Rural Industrial A zone.

Staff recommend that the private plan change should be started. Consideration of the merits of the plan change will occur when submissions are received and through the hearings process

Decision

Council accepts the request by Citrus Grove Investments Limited. The process to make a change to the District Plan will be started as long as some minor issues with the application are resolved.

Encroachment Policy

Council’s 2010 Encroachment Policy considers encroachments by private landowners onto Council land. An application to build a balcony in the central city has bought up the issue of air space encroachments. This has highlighted the need to amend the Encroachment Policy.

Decision

Council decided to amend the Encroachment Policy to consider new and existing airspace encroachments as long as they meet certain criteria. These include criteria about design, the streetscape, heritage of the building and neighbours, crime prevention, privacy and noise. In addition Encroachment Policy fees and charges were referred back to the Operations Committee for review and recommendation back to Council at the next round of meetings.

Council meeting schedule for 2013

Public Council meetings are currently held monthly on the fourth Thursday of each month with Committee meetings held 2 weeks prior.

In 2013 it is proposed that meetings are held every 6 weeks. Feedback from councillors, additional workload for Ten Year Plan amendments and the fact that several Committee meetings have been cancelled this year due to lack of business, have prompted the review.

The 6 week schedule has the first Council meeting on the last Thursday in January with a 6 week gap to the next Council meeting. There are no Committee meetings in January and therefore Committee meetings start in the sixth week of the year and every 6 weeks following.

The proposed 6-week cycle and the current monthly cycle will be adjusted to take into account:

• Where public holidays fall on a proposed Council or Committee meeting day these meetings have been moved to either the week ahead or the week prior

• The Hearings Committee meetings are scheduled on a 3 weekly basis and to suit work loads

• Annual Plan Timetable – including submissions, hearings, consultation and adoption

• Ten Year Plan amendment – including submissions, hearings, consultation and adoption

Decision

Council decided to adopt the 6-weekly meeting schedule(external link)

Remission of selected rates

A small number of properties have had substantial increases in their rates this year.

The activities that have caused the most change are those that have had the basis of their rates changed - Pests and Plants, Rural Fire and Soil Conservation. The properties that are most affected are properties with large land areas in DRA1, 1A and 2 (inner zone) and low value properties with large land areas in DRA3, 4 and 5 (outer zone).

A remission policy is proposed for these activities and valid for the 2012/13 rating year only. The proposed policy will not give rates relief to anyone else whose rates went up for any other reason. Those issues will be addressed in a longer term piece of policy work.

While the rates were set validly and Council did 10 times more modelling than in previous years, our rates are becoming over-complicated. It is no longer possible to fully understand the impact of changes to one targeted rating area by using sampling.

Decision

Council decided to approve the proposed rate remission for consultation. The criteria for the proposed remission are:

1. an overall rates increase (after other remissions) of 6%

2. a minimum increase on each of the following rates of $100 and 30%

3. 30% remission for pest and plants

4. 30% remission for soil conservation

5. 30% remission for rural fires

6. no remission where the total remissions under the policy are less than $25

7. the application of this remission policy will not reduce the overall rate increase of individual properties to below 6%